Libyan authorities searching for Red Crescent official

Libyan authorities searching for abducted Red Crescent official: security source
2 min read
The Libyan Red Crescent said one of its local officials has been abducted by identified assiliants.
Unidentified militiamen captured the official [Getty]

The Libyan Red Crescent said Sunday that unidentified assailants abducted one of its local officials several days ago in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, while a security source said a search was underway.

Mansour Ati al-Maghrabi, head of the Red Crescent's Ajdabiya branch, was taken Thursday, branch secretary-general Marii al-Dersi said.

"We lost all contact with the director on Thursday when unknown (assailants) forced him from the LRC headquarters in Ajdabiya," Dersi told AFP by telephone.

Authorities have opened an investigation, a security source in Ajdabiya told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"A search is underway to attempt to localise him and know the details" of his abduction, the source said.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed concern for Maghrabi's safety.

Maghrabi "was abducted on 3 June when his car was intercepted by unknown armed men and his whereabouts remain unknown", it said Saturday on Twitter.

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"The Mission calls for his unconditional release," it added, urging a "transparent investigation into this enforced disappearance".

Libya is seeking to extricate itself from a decade of chaos and conflict that followed the toppling of dictator Moamer Gadaffi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

A formal truce signed last October between rival camps in the country's east and west set in motion a UN-led process that led to the creation of an interim government tasked with preparing the country for December polls.

Despite the ceasefire and progress on the political front, the security situation remains precarious, particularly in the country's east.

Ajdabiya is controlled by forces loyal to eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar.